John McCain has issued a brief statement about today’s Kennedy v. Louisiana ruling. It concludes as follows:
“That there is a judge anywhere in America who does not believe that the rape of a child represents the most heinous of crimes, which is deserving of the most serious of punishments, is profoundly disturbing.”
It is not the province of a judge to act on what he believes is “deserving” punishment for such an offense, notwithstanding several decades of mistaken jurisprudence premised on the contrary. But Justice Kennedy’s majority obviously believes it is the province of judges to act on their mere beliefs about such matters. On that premise, McCain is squarely on the mark.